Do you want to play sports at the next level? Getting recruited to play sports in college can be a difficult process for many high school student-athletes and their families. There is a ton of rules, strategies, and ideas that you need to know and understand in order to navigate the recruiting process. Recruiting for many high school athletes begins as early as eighth grade, so you can get prepared for high school. Here are 5 steps to take before you start the recruiting process:
1. Get Committed– The first thing you need to do is commit to the process. The recruiting process is a lot of work. You should take some time to establish your goals and make sure that make sure that competing in college sports is definitely something you want to pursue. Don’t do it for your family or friends, DO IT FOR YOU. Once you make that decision make sure you are all in. From start to finish, you will be the one involved in everything, from putting together your marketing portfolio including student-athlete profile, introduction letter, and video, to emailing and phoning coaches. When you dedicate yourself to finding an opportunity to play in college, you are more likely to achieve that goal!
2. Make Academics a Priority – It’s STUDENT first ATHLETE second for a reason. Student athletes get recruited because they are good students, as well as good athletes. You should develop and establish good study habits before you start high school. Make sure that you are completing all of your homework assignments, papers, and studying dutifully for your tests. College coaches want to work with athletes of good character and who recognize the responsibility of being a student-athlete by not neglecting their studies. Getting a high GPA and doing well on the SAT/ACT can also help you earn more scholarship money through an academic scholarship in addition to an athletic one.
3. Schedule Time – The college recruiting process requires time and effort. You won’t be recruited waiting around for college coaches to magically find you, it does not work that way. Once you have committed to it, block time, I recommend 30-60 minutes a week and do some work on the recruiting process. Research colleges, fill out questionnaires, email college coaches, etc.
4. Get Organized- In order to do well in the recruiting process, you need to be organized. You will need to collect your academic and athletic information and compile together a resume or profile to send to coaches. You will also need to keep track of which schools you want to target, and what you need to send to each school. If you are talking to more than a handful of coaches, it will be crucial to know when you have had contact with each coach, and what you have discussed. That is a lot of different information to stay on top of! That’s why it is so important to get organized early and stay organized. You can use spreadsheets, charts, calendars, or whatever you think will help you keep track of it all.
5. Do the Work– Education is the key to recruiting success. You should educate yourself about what it means to be a student-athlete. What are demands of playing college sports. Part of getting recruited to play sports in college will be to know and understand the process. The NCAA enforces many rules and regulations regarding recruiting and it’s crucial to know which ones might affect you. For example, you need to know the various contact periods allowed for your sport; this will help you organize your communications with coaches and also when to expect contact from them. Further along in the process, you will also need to research the schools you are interested in and their admission requirements.